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Ambanza earns conference all-star for 3rd time

Narcisse Ambanza was named to a Canada West all-star team for the time in his three years as a member of the Winnipeg Wesmen. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics file)
Narcisse Ambanza was named to a Canada West all-star team for the time in his three years as a member of the Winnipeg Wesmen. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics file)

Narcisse Ambanza made it three-for-three on Thursday.

For the third time in his three years as a member of the Winnipeg Wesmen, the combo guard was named to a Canada West all-star team, earning second-team all-conference honours, it was announced Thursday morning.

The conference's 17 men's basketball head coaches are responsible for selecting the all-star and all-rookie teams.

In 2018-19, the 6-foot-2 guard out of Toronto's Eastern Commerce had his most well-rounded year in Winnipeg, scoring a career-high 18.8 points per game to lead the team while dishing out a career-high 6.2 assists per game, which ranked second in the Canada West conference. In addition, Ambanza was second on the team in rebounds per game with 6.1. 

Ambanza posted five double-doubles, which ranked second on the team, and topped the 30-point mark twice, including a career-high-tying 36-point effort in a Feb. 7 playoff win over Manitoba. 

Ambanza also set a single-game career-high in a Jan. 31 win over Manitoba when he handed out 16 assists, which was one less than the highest single-game assist total in Canada West in the past 20 years. 

"Narcisse had a tremendous season and was impactful at both ends of the floor for us," Wesmen head coach Mike Raimbault said. "We asked a lot of him every night and he did a great job of leading our group."

The Wesmen finished the season with a 13-7 record, their highest win percentage since the team went 13-5 in 1993-94 while still part of the former Great Plains Athletic Conference. They knocked off Manitoba in the first round of the conference playoffs before being eliminated by undefeated defending national champion Calgary in the conference quarter-final last weekend. 

Ambanza was named a third-team all-star last year and cracked the conference all-rookie team in 2016-17. 

On the first all-star squad, Calgary's Mambi Diawara and David Kapinga were acknowledged for helping drive the Dinos to a perfect 20-0 regular season. Also earning a spot on the top team were Alberta's Brody Clarke, UBC's Jadon Cohee, and Lethbridge's Zac Overwater.

All told, 13 of the conference's 17 teams earned representation on at least one of the four teams.

The conference's major award winners will be unveiled on Thursday, February 28.

FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM

POSITION / NAME / UNIVERSITY / YEAR / HOMETOWN

  • F / Brody Clarke / Alberta / 4 / Toronto, Ont.
  • G / Jadon Cohee / UBC / 4 / Langley, B.C.
  • G / Mambi Diawara / Calgary / 5 / Montreal, Que.
  • G / David Kapinga / Calgary / 5 / Calgary, Alta.
  • G / Zac Overwater / Lethbridge / 5 / Didsbury, Alta.

SECOND ALL-STAR TEAM

  • G / Narcisse Ambanza / Winnipeg / 3 / Toronto, Ont.
  • G / Parm Bains / Fraser Valley / 4 / Surrey, B.C.
  • G / Greishe Clerjuste / Regina / 4 / Montreal, Que.
  • F / Brett Layton / Calgary / 3 / Calgary, Alta.
  • F / Grant Shephard / UBC / 2 / Kelowna, B.C.

THIRD ALL-STAR TEAM

  • F / Joe Barker / Saskatchewan / 5 / Saskatoon, Sask.
  • G / Rashawn Browne / Manitoba / 4 / Toronto, Ont.
  • G / Jordan Charles / Victoria / 5 / Duncan, B.C.
  • G / Tyvon Cooper / Brandon / 5 / Middletown, New York
  • G & F / Jovan Leamy / UNBC / 5 / Toronto, Ont.

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

  • F / Nick Barnard / Regina / Regina, Sask.
  • G / Alexander Dewar / Saskatchewan / Saskatoon, Sask.
  • G / Hafith Moallin / UBCO / Mississauga, Ont.
  • G / Adam Paige / Alberta / Surrey, B.C.
  • G / Aaron Tesfagiorgis / Victoria / Calgary, Alta.

— With files from Canada West